Art Rupe Specialty Records Founder Has Died Age 104: R.I.P.

Art Rupe, the man who launched the careers of Sam Cooke, Little Richard, Lloyd Price and Larry Williams, among many others, has died at the age of 104.

Art RupeRupe began Specialty Records in 1946 cutting jump blues bands such as Joe Liggins and his Honeydrippers and Roy Milton and his Solid Senders. His records with The Soul Stirrers spawned Sam Cooke’s solo career and eventually Rupe signed such rock and roll pioneers as Larry Williams, Percy Mayfield and Little Richard.

The 13th Floor’s Marty Duda spoke with Art Rupe back in 2002 about forming Specialty Records. Click here to listen to Art Rupe discussing how he found Little Richard…or how Richard found him.

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